The University of Hawaiʻi is an indigenous-serving institution in Hawaiʻi, and correct spelling and display of Hawaiian language is essential for UH websites and publications. Consult appropriate resources to ensure proper orthography, especially diacritical marks: the ʻokina (also called a glottal stop) or vowels with kahakō (also called a macron). The ʻokina is a specific punctuation mark, and not a single quotation mark, accent grave or “tick mark.”


Online display

Depending on the device, software or app, there are different ways to correctly input ʻokina or kahakō. It is not recommended to cut and paste from another document or the internet, as the character may not display correctly. For further assistance, contact the ITS Help Desk.

When working on in HTML, it is possible to code ʻokina and vowels with kahakō using a numeric string escape sequence.

  • ʻokina—ʻ
  • Ā—Ā
  • ā—ā
  • Ē—Ē
  • ē—ē
  • ī—ī
  • Ī—Ī
  • Ō—Ō
  • ō—ō
  • Ū—Ū
  • ū—ū

NOTE: Words with ʻokina marked up still require aria-label tags for accessibility.


  • Mānoa displays as Mānoa
  • <span aria-label=”Hawaii”>Hawai&#699;i</span> displays as Hawaiʻi

For further assistance, contact the ITS Help Desk.

Last modified: July 2, 2018